Civil War Sites
South Carolina's capital city played a central role in the American Civil War. Though the war's first shots occurred in Charleston, the foundation for the unprecedented conflict was laid in Columbia on December 17, 1860 when Secession Convention delegates met in the new Baptist Church. Impressions of Columbia during the war were fed by the media, most notably nationally circulated newspapers that featured illustrations of landmark buildings, political leaders, and events. Some images show the city before it burned. Others, rendered between February 1865 and April 1866, documented the extent of its destruction.